by Jeff Milo
Pink Lightning – Happy To Be Here – Supino Pizzeria Records
Proper title for a proper debut – dig in?
The opening song shoulders you right into it, abruptly, bracing, you feel like you’ve fallen into the middle of something already in progress as the vocals, a mad quaver to their squawk, poke you in the chest, like listen here, Mister, almost testing you to see if you’ll swing back...
This music stirs the pot, it spills beans and it loosens ties; it dances with all its limbs and is ever-leaning at 45 degree angles. This is weird, charming, honking, strutting dance-rock and it cuts up your rug and it always wants to dip you; its feet are having a fit and by the end of it you find you’re dancing on the ceiling. Wheezy buzzsaw blurs and keyed-up yowls, tumbling grooves and snaky shimmies, Pink Lightning’s debut is a work out, either swelling to fitful crescendos, whirling downward into a still-yet-edgy coolness, churning out this psyche-fuzzed jazz vibe, the drums are knocking you around, let yourself tumble into the pinball machine.
There’s no way a recording can capture the caution-to-the-wind energy, the sweaty rile that this band can pack – Mere recordings of bands that can be barrels-of-fireball-juggling-monkeys in live form can inevitably come off as –straight forward–sounding by comparison. They bottle enough of that lightning, though. This local quintets charm with their tightly locked, shimmy-able grooves and keen management of unwieldy tempo shifts.
That buoyant bass, grinning at you, keeps your feet lifting from the fire of those gnarly, pedal-wrung guitars and the accordion enriches everything into an invigorating disorientation – what began as post-punk swelled into tribal disco and kartwheeled into some unholy marriage of funk and space-rock. But the brass and the banjo splashed in too, under agit/anthemic vocals, fuzzed through circuit-bent vocal fx, this poetic carnival barker leading the charge. Where’s it going? All the way up the wall, to the ceiling
and back down again. Here, happy to be here.
Happy To Be Here - Release show - 4.28.12 - @ Old Miami - with Mexican Knives / Beekeepers / Robin Parrent / "...several surprise(s)"